Trump backed away from wall months ago, says chief of staff Kelly

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31 December, 2018

After John Kelly's very candid interview with the Los Angeles Times dropped Sunday, the New York Times reported on a fresh piece of friction unveiled between the outgoing chief of staff and the president.

President Donald Trump said he will close the southern border if Congress doesn't approve funding for border wall and deliver immigration reform.

"For those that naively ask why didn't the Republicans get approval to build the Wall over the previous year, it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us "NONE" for Border Security!", he tweeted.

Kelly's comments are the latest development in the Trump administration's changing rhetoric on the president's long-promised wall along the southern United States border.

The two sides are at a stalemate over Trump's demand for billions for a U.S. -Mexico border wall that Democrats are intent on blocking.

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall", Trump tweeted.

Trump's reaction came four days after an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy with the flu died in government custody after surrendering to immigration authorities at the border with his father.

Trump has previously threatened to close the border to prevent Central American immigrants reaching the United States.

Because of the partial government shutdown - which went into effect a week ago - President Trump canceled plans to spend Christmas in Florida, and stayed at the White House.

Trump also suggested Friday that shutting down the border with Mexico would somehow generate "profit" for the U.S. When asked by ABC News for any evidence or explanation of that claim, the White House did not respond.

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reacted cautiously to Trump's threat to close the border, calling it an "internal affair of the US government".

Whether Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Pelosi and Trump can find a way forward to fully reopen the government will say a lot about the next two years of divided government.

Fox News has learned that behind the scenes this weekend, several senators are discussing a new potential compromise to end the ongoing partial federal government shutdown.

Afghanistan: "When I first took over, he was inclined to want to withdraw from Afghanistan", Kelly recalls of Trump.

The minority leaders, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. He also said the compromise should include changes in federal law to discourage people from trying to enter the USA illegally.

Democrats have not made a counteroffer to the administration's proposal for border-wall funding on December 22.

Conway sought to put the blame on Democrats, calling the president's demand a "modest investment" in border security.

As the wall has come under scrutiny while at the center of gridlock in Congress, Trump has changed his description of his early campaign promise, saying it would be more like "fencing" that was an "artistically designed" set of steel slats, not concrete.

Despite Trump's threat, the United States this month announced a new collaboration with Mexico on a program to curb migration from Central American countries, with much of the $US10.6 billion ($15 billion) U.S. contribution to be drawn from existing aid programs.


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